Lessons of the Iowa Caucus: Why Is It Important to Test Software?
The Iowa Caucus is usually synonymous with launching the presidential campaign. Yet the evening of February 3, 2020 will be one that many will not forget, nor should they. Whether or not one is politically minded, there is a lesson to be learned here.
That Monday night’s Iowa caucuses started out as a politically charged event with all the ballyhoo of political speeches and delegates making deals. Unfortunately, it will likely be associated with the mistakes that were made that led to no clear Democratic winner being declared that night.
The New York Times reported that part of the reason behind this was a mobile app that was designed to add up and report the caucus votes of each precinct. Some questioned if the app not working was the result of hacking or sabotage. It turns out that it was a lot more mundane, and more frustrating, to boot.
In their haste to get the app running on time, it was reported that the company that built it haphazardly put it together in two months; including not testing it properly. Furthermore, poor connectivity and bottleneck bandwidth were also to blame. To make matters worse, when several county chairs attempted to call tech support, they were on hold for upwards to two hours. NPR News reported that the Iowa Democratic Party doubled down, and refused to initially answer questions about the creator of the software or even what measures of testing, or security protocols it went through.
What Lessons Should We Learn From Iowa?
Even if you don’t require software that could decide the leader of a country, there are a lot of lessons to be learned here. One big one is that if your company is designing anything new, it’s important to make sure that proper testing and training is conducted to make sure your employees know how to use the application and minimize potential problems should they arise.
It’s also important to make security protocols are properly being followed and allow for encryption of secure documents. Mobile and cloud content security is also crucial for any operation to run smoothly. It’s also important that such security is able to run across multiple devices.
Finally, being able to provide a scalable support team is important in case something goes wrong on the day of launch. Improving business communication is crucial, and being able to connect your end user to a support specialist is of the utmost importance. This also allows hold times, as well as worry, to be kept to a minimum.
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